Facebook knows Portal, its smart speaker, does not generate confidence

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After so many privacy issues, the social network giant expects its new security standards will attract users again

It’s been just a couple of weeks since the announcement of the massive hack that affected  50 million Facebook users and the company have decided to launch its new product, a smart speaker with webcam features called Portal. According to experts in digital forensics, this device would be able to track your movements through every room in your home.

However, Facebook seems to be aware of how difficult it will be to rely on this device. In its advertising campaign, the company focused primarily on privacy and security, emphasizing the decisions that were made to make Portal as safe and less threatening as possible. This includes simple hardware designs, such as a camera cover, which can be closed when not in use, as well as more technical design features such as the inclusion of an artificial intelligence running Portal on the same device, rather of the Facebook Servers.

“These measures provide more peace of mind about stored data because that means that artificial intelligence is learning on the device instead of collecting data, sending it, analyzing it, and submitting the results to Portal”, said Carolina Milanesi, specialist in digital forensics.

The specialist believes that Facebook adopts this focus on privacy as part of its marketing campaign, but also shows that it has listened to the demands of its users. The company knows that the confidence of the public has declined, so it will not be easy to sell this product. With Portal It also changes the approach of connecting with other people on Facebook, because now it will focus on connecting users with their closest social circle, instead of sharing their information with a broader network.

“At this time, Facebook is not in a good place with regard to the confidence of its users, given the latest events” said Milanesi”. The first reaction will surely be a resounding ‘no, I won’t bring this device to my house’”, considers the specialist.

But she also considers that the general public might not be so concerned about the privacy of his information as much as those familiar with the subject, the case of Cambridge Analytica is an example of this behavior. Ultimately, Portal can be a very attractive device for those who enjoy acquiring the most advanced gadgets.

According to cybersecurity and digital forensics experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security, the revenues generated by the smart speaker market are expected to reach 10 billion dollars for the year 2022, so Facebook does not want to be left behind in this market because of its recent security drawbacks.